On Monday, a Federal judge ruled that an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against two former CIA contractors should proceed to jury trial.
The ACLU is suing James Mitchell and John "Bruce" Jessen for their role in developing the CIA's "enhanced interrogation technique" (EIT) program.
It's an incredibly stupid lawsuit. For a start, Mitchell and Jessen are patriots who accepted a critical job in order to save American lives. They did very good work. As I noted in 2014, the EIT program served major counter-terrorism successes.
Had those plots come to fruition, hundreds, possibly thousands, of innocent people would have died. Families are whole right now because of public servants like Mitchell, Jessen, and others in the CIA. Unfortunately, that reality has been lost as most of the media laps the ACLU's claims at face value. Google "CIA torture," and read the reports about the lawsuit. You'll see what I mean.
But ACLU claims and media reporting aside, the petitioners in this case, Suleiman Abdullah Salim, Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, and the family of Gul Rahman, are not victims of mistaken identity. All of them were exigent threats to U.S. national security.
Mr. Rahman, who froze to death in CIA custody in 2002, was an al Qaeda-linked terrorist.
Similarly, while he now presents himself as an innocent, Suleiman Abdullah Salim was actually an al Qaeda-trained network facilitator. Declassified U.S. government reports indicate Salim was part of the East African cell responsible for bombing the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Those attacks killed 224 people.
Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud? According to the US government, ben Soud was a "senior member" of an al Qaeda-linked Libyan terrorist group and an intermediary between al Qaeda and a Taliban cell operating along the Afghan-Pakistan border. Put another way, not someone you would want to share a plane with.
The facts are clear: These individuals were held and interrogated under a lawfully authorized and proportionate detention program.
Still, Mitchell is upbeat. As he put it to the Washington Examiner Tuesday, "I look forward to the trial so that Americans can see and hear the facts of this meritless case."